Jul17 –  A Constructed Language

Jul17 Grammatical Voice

Some Terminology

A univalent verb has only one argument, the noun or pronoun which is prefixed to it (this is called the explicit argument). A bivalent verb has, in addition to the explicit argument, a 2nd one which is implicit. This can be either the K-person, the matrix or host argument, or it can coreference the noun-part of a preceding word in the same clause.

The agent of a bivalent verb is the argument role which is more agent-like while the patient is the argument role which is more patient-like. For example, the perceiver of "see" is the agent and the thing perceived the patient. With spatial relations, the location is the patient and the entity located is the agent.

Grammatical Voice Suffixes

Grammatical voice applies only to bivalent verbs, which have five of them: direct, inverse, antipassive, passive, and reflexive. A bivalent verb is either agent-oriented, in which case the direct voice is 0-marked, or patient-oriented, in which case the inverse voice is 0-marked. The following table gives the suffixes for each stem class, the tags, and the interpretation for each voice (in terms of which matching argument to role):

Grammatical Voice Suffixes
Suffixes Tag Voice Agent Patient
-ā -ē -ō -ā -VYā -Dir direct explicit implicit
-@ra -ira -ura -ara -VVra -Inv inverse implicit explicit
-ās@ -ēs@ -ōs@ -ās@ -VYās@ -Ant antipassive explicit indefinite
-ēn@ -īn@ -ūn@ -ān@ -VYēn@ -Pas passive indefinite explicit
-@xu -ixu -uxu -axu -VVxu -Rfx reflexive explicit explicit
-@ -i -u -a -VV   direct or inverse, depending on class
@ e, o, or 0, depending on adjacent consonants
V short vowel
VV long vowel or diphthong
Y i, u, h, or 0, depending on adjacent vowels

Valence Reduction

The passive (-Pas) and antipassive (-Ant) suffixes cause the implicit argument to be the equivalent of an indefinite pronoun. The reflexive (-Rfx) suffix assigns both agent and patient role to the explicit argument, leaving the implicit one unused. All three of these suffixes reduce the valence of the verb, making a bivalent one effectively univalent.

Some Examples

In the following, inflections that haven't been covered yet are left out. First, an example for each grammatical voice using an agent-oriented verb:

cattuguenoc. direct cattuguenrac. inverse
cattu- gueno-0-c cattu- guen-ra-c
cat- see-Dir-Fac cat- see-Inv-Fac
"The cat sees me." "I see the cat."
cattuguenāsoc. antipassive cattuguenēnoc. passive
cattu- guen-āso-c cattu- guen-ēno-c
cat- see-Ant-Fac cat- see-Pas-Fac
"The cat sees." "The cat is seen."
cattuguenxuc. reflexive  
cattu- guen-xu-c
cat- see-Rfx-Fac
"The cat sees itself."

Next, an example for each grammatical voice using a patient-oriented verb:

salunaidāc. direct salunaidoc. inverse
salu- naid-ā-c salu- naido-0-c
fish- bite-Dir-Fac fish- bite-Inv-Fac
"The fish bit me." "I bit the fish."
salunaidāsoc. antipassive salunaidēnoc. passive
salu- naid-āso-c salu- naid-ēno-c
fish- bite-Ant-Fac fish- bite-Pas-Fac
"The fish bit." "The fish got bitten."
salunaidoxuc. reflexive  
salu- naido-xu-c
fish- bite-Rfx-Fac
"The fish bit itself."

page started: 2013.Aug.03 Sat
current date: 2013.Aug.04 Sun
content and form originated by qiihoskeh

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